No expectations can often lead to a great race and thats exactly what happened in the London Duathlon last year. I just went out and enjoyed it, finishing with a stormer of a 5k, 32nd overall and feeling confident that I could go faster.
This year I wanted to come in the top 10.
The London Duathlon is the world’s largest duathlon, held annually in Richmond Park (aka my back garden). The Classic distance is a 10km run, 44km bike, 5km run all around the outer road circuit. Just before 10.30 I scooted into the the starting pen and prepared to head out.
It was pretty hot and because I was actually trying this year I realised very quickly it was going to hurt. Head down up sawyers and cruise down the other side from Richmond to Ham Gate. Cheer crew had stationed themselves by the Ballet School and raised spirits enough to push on down the last 3km to transition, all I could think was the quicker I got back the quicker I could get on my bike.
Still smiling at the start.
Run1 (10km): 49:47
Excellent intentions to actually practice transition this year had culminated in a 20 minute session in my back garden. In my garden I got it down to 45 seconds, unfortunately this failed to take into account the extra 200m of running in cleats the London Duathlon entailed. Next year I’m going to get my bike as close to the bike exit as possible and maximise running in trainers distance whilst minimising time spent waddling in cleats.
I had kind of decided during the run there wasn’t any point conserving energy for last 5km as I could make up more time going hard on the bike than I could lose in 5km’s of running (unless I died completely).
Team Farrington were out in force and had now taken up residence on Broomfield Hill generating enough enthusiasm to coax even the most jaded wannabe duathlete up the incline. Alex, Jon and Jack were also waiting here manically ringing cowbells and shouting ‘Go Polly, King of the Choppers!’. Obviously I had to speed up to get away from them.
The bike was ace. I picked off everyone that had passed me on the first run and smashed it up the hills. A headwind coming down Sawyers was a bit of a battle and I was slightly behind where I wanted to be time-wise, cant complain though, everyone was in the same boat.
Bike (44km): 1.28.44
The final 5km run was agony. More brick sessions (well more than the one I did) required next year. I crawled up the hill to the Ballet School and just prayed the end would be quick and painless. The chunky ankle chip you can see in the picture above had turned into a torture device and was slowly rubbing through the skin on my ankle. Coming round the final bend I nearly took out the guy below in my desperate attempt at a sprint finish.
I think we can all agree thats the face of someone keen to have a lie down.
Never met her before in my life.
Run 2 (5km): 23:44
Overall Time: 2:46:37
Due to the staggered start its difficult to tell how you placed until the official results come out. I knew it was going to be a close thing and I was absolutely over the moon to hear I got 8th overall and fastest bike split out of the top 10 women (2nd fastest overall), though that’s almost certainly why I died a death in the last 5k.
Huge thanks to Team Farrington (Dad (Mark), Mum (Anne), Rosie, Grace, Alex, John, jack, Grandad (Ron) for being awesome supporters as always and to Limelight sports for another impeccably organised race. Better pacing and more brick work and I’ll be back next year going for aiming for the podium.